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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 336-337"

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336 Reviews of Books 

Our authors have both failed to give a truly genetic and critically correct 
view of the theology of their subjects from neglect of this principle. 

Frank Hugh Foster. 

Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Volk. Door P. J. Blok. Vierde 
Deel. (Groningen : J. B. Wolters. 1899. Pp. 496.) 
In his task of setting forth the history of the Netherlandish people, 
the distinguished professor of Dutch history in the University of Leyden 
and the instructor in history of Queen Wilhelmina has completed his 
fourth volume. The period treated covers what many consider the most 
important events in the national history, the influence of which is still 
powerful in Dutch politics and social life. Not only do Holland's art 
and literature still reflect the inheritances from the years 160 9- 16 48, but 
from personal experiences among groups of Dutch gentlemen, we can 
bear witness that the controversy between admirers of Barneveld on the 
one hand and Maurice on the other, is still warm. When to political, 
religious elements are added to the discussion, it becomes hot. 

Dr. Petrus Johannes Blok has certainly, in his judicial poise and 
calm, inherited the spirit of him whom he calls " my revered master 
Fruin," but it can hardly be said that the style of the pupil equals that 
of the teacher. It is not merely a foreigner that must declare that there 
are manifest proofs of haste and occasional slovenliness of style, but natives 
find his very frequent use of the present participle a trifle irritating. 
Such an innovation in Dutch is not as pleasing as is the regular use of this 
form in French and English. This said, however, we heartily add our 
tribute of admiration for the admirable manner in which, as if scathless 
in an ordeal, he threads his way safely between and amid the hot plough- 
shares of religio-political strife. Standing above parties and factions, 
with admirable insight and breadth of view, he gives us his luminous 
judgments as to persons and things, causes and consequences. The 
Oranje-klants and Calvinistic dogma-makers on the one hand and the hide- 
bound and bigoted " Liberals " on the other will hardly praise Dr. Blok 
for his utter lack of partisanship. Sometimes one would prefer a less close 
adherence to the synthetic method and, for enjoyment in reading and for 
fortification of one's own convictions, a little more of the "virtuous par- 
tisanship ' ' of Macaulay or Motley or even Fruin, who call the execution 
of Barneveld a ' ' judicial murder ' ' ( een gerechtelijken moord) . Neverthe- 
less judicial candor is the author's first aim, and his treatment of the 
bloody episode of 16 19 is worth a mountain of what has been penned in 
late years by writers who are, first of all, partisans. To show, however, 
that our longing for more color and animus is not unreasonable, we may 
note that Dr. Blok's consistency in desire for fairness of judgment and 
possible fear of being charged with partisanship, becomes at times incon- 
sistency. In our day and time the action of Prince Maurice in repeatedly 
trampling on law and justice would be called a coup d'etat, and yet, on 
page 203, we find the author telling us that he " acted in all good faith ' ' 
{in alle goede trouw kandefend) . 



Du Cause de Nazelle : Memoir es 337 

It is like turning from black night to the splendors of rosy dawn and 
the movement of light toward high noon, to enter into the brilliant 
period of Prince Henry, "our golden era" as the Dutch love to call it. 
Here the author is as happy as he makes his readers, and his masterly 
chapters deserve to be read and re-read. Besides his lively pictures of 
home life, of war, of peace, of art and social improvement, we have a 
sketch of trade and commerce with the East which seems especially 
timely. One cannot dismiss this volume without especial notice and 
commendation of the chapter, or rather elaborate essay on the sources of 
Dutch history for the period, 1 559-1648. We know of nothing so full 
and so illuminating. With equal fairness and apparent grasp of the ma- 
terial in whole and in part, Dr. Blok presents the national Dutch, the 
Spanish, the Catholic Dutch, and the opposing sides in Netherlandish 
history. Dr. Blok, being still on the sunny side of life's meridian, may 
be able to finish the great work marked out by himself, which we sin- 
cerely hope. 

Memoires du Temps de Louis XIV., par Du Cause de Nazelle 
Publies avec une Introduction et des Notes par Ernest Daudet. 
(Paris : E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie. 1899. Pp. xxviii, 269.) 
The alleged author of these Mimoires was an officer whose only claim 
upon the attention of posterity is that he revealed to Louvois an obscure 
conspiracy which two or three desperate noblemen, including a Rohan, 
concocted against Louis XIV. in 1674. Although this conspiracy has 
been better known than some others which belong to the same reign, its 
precise objects are still not fully understood. M. Daudet has in an ap- 
pendix summarized the evidence which may be gathered from the records 
of the trial preserved in the French archives, but there is room for a dif- 
ference of opinion upon the value of certain confessions, notably those 
of the Dutch schoolmaster, Vandeh Enden, a spy in the service of the 
Spanish government, who, with the Sieur de Latreaumont, was the 
originator of the plot. The main purpose was to create a disturbance in 
Normandy, during which the Spaniards were to take possession of Quille- 
boeuf. Vanden Enden personally, according to his own story, sought in 
this way to do Holland's enemy all the harm he could. Latreaumont, a 
bankrupt adventurer, hungered for spoil ; and possibly it was spoil also, 
and revenge, which Louis de Rohan chiefly desired, although his fellow- 
conspirators dazzled him with promises of a restored Duchy of Brittany. 
Added to this there was talk of organizing a republic in Normandy, for 
which the Dutch pedagogue had sketched some laws, with the expecta- 
tion that all Frenchmen would hastily abandon the structure reared by 
the centuries and adopt in exchange the devices of such a pitiable group 
of schemers. M. Daudet seems to lay undue stress upon these things, 
which served to adorn an enterprise the most practical aim of which was 
to procure sufficient supplies of Spanish gold to repair two or three dis- 
ordered fortunes.